Tag Archive for civil rights

VNV Tuesday: Lessons in Sausage-Making (h/t @JoyAnnReid) 1/23/18

It’s messy work, but somebody has to do it.

Last week was a writing drought; today I have too many topics to choose from. My final decision was made when I saw a tweet thread from Joy Reid*** that resonated with me, exposed my ignorance, and inspired me to dig further. This is going to be a bare-bones recitation of history that I never learned, but should have. I share it today as information, as well as an object lesson about persistence.

To quote Maya Angelou, “You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lines. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise.”

VNV Tuesday: “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” 1/9/18

Fannie Lou Hamer, American civil rights leader, at the Democratic National Convention, Atlantic City, New Jersey, August 1964

I didn’t watch the Golden Globes on Sunday, but I have watched Oprah’s speech. For me, the line that resonated the most is the sentence used as the title of this post: “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” I was also gratified that Oprah recognized and honored Recy Taylor. Today I’m going to focus on another woman who spoke her truth, Fannie Lou Hamer, but instead of providing a bio and background information, which is readily found on the internet, I’m just going to let her speak.

Fighting Back: – Rep. James Clyburn: “Passing the Republican bill would turn the clock back on civil rights.”

The weekly Fighting Back post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

Found on the Internets

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina.

Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn

Senate Republicans are working in secret on their own Trumpcare bill. They won’t tell you what it is, but they want you to believe it’s more moderate. There’s nothing moderate about undermining protections for people with pre-existing conditions by repealing the essential health benefits protections. There’s nothing moderate about gutting Medicaid by $834 billion and in the same bill give $900 billion in tax giveaways to a few wealthy families, and insurance and drug companies. Repealing the ACA would once again institutionalize the kind of discrimination against the sick and aged that has plagued hard-working families for generations. Passing the Republican bill would turn the clock back on civil rights and humaneness.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

(Link to Nancy Pelosi Newsroom here)

It Takes A Villlage – VNV Tuesday: Why We Can’t Ignore the Legacy of Slavery 4/18/17

Slave Market, Atlanta, GA 1864

Today’s post is a response to two different, but converging, prompts. First, as I mentioned in a comment yesterday, is my reading of Eric Foner’s Reconstruction Updated Edition: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, a massive history (that I’m less than one-third of the way through) of an era that continues to reverberate today. The second is the continuing criticism by Sen. Sanders of the Democratic Party, and the inevitable response on Twitter by Bros who continue to argue for “economics uber Alles.” The inability to recognize and address white supremacy with any coherence is an issue for more than just white supremacists; it becomes a problem for those of us who understand that the base of the Democratic Party is women and persons of color. In general, the Base (and allies) understand the problems associated with patriarchy and white supremacy, because it is our lived experience. We further understand that systems of prejudice don’t go away with a wave of the economic wand, and our history demonstrates that. The thoroughly ahistorical arguments of BoBers are troubling, but I am convinced that for some, the absence of historically-grounded awareness is a matter of ignorance, rather than malice. Today’s post is a compilation of quotes from Foner’s book (whether his own words or drawn from commenters during Reconstruction) (with a few tweets to add “color.”)

Attorney General Loretta Lynch: “This is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens”

On Monday afternoon, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the filing of a lawsuit against the State of North Carolina to block enforcement of an ordinance that violates the civil rights of state employees under Title VII, Title IX and VAWA (the Violence Against Women Act).

(Move the slider to 36:16 for the start)
(If this video becomes unlisted, CSPAN has it here)

Attorney General Lynch:

This action is about a great deal more than just bathrooms. This is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens, and the laws that we, as a people and as a country, have enacted to protect them – indeed, to protect all of us. It’s about the founding ideals that have led this country – haltingly but inexorably – in the direction of fairness, inclusion, and equality for all Americans. This is not a time to act out of fear. This is a time to summon our national virtues of inclusivity, diversity, compassion, and open-mindedness. What we must not do – what we must never do – is turn on our neighbors, our family members, our fellow Americans, for something they cannot control, and deny what makes them human. […]

Let me also speak directly to the transgender community itself. Some of you have lived freely for decades. Others of you are still wondering how you can possibly live the lives you were born to lead. But no matter how isolated or scared you may feel today, the Department of Justice and the entire Obama Administration wants you to know that we see you; we stand with you; and we will do everything we can to protect you going forward. Please know that history is on your side.

Full transcript of announcement and press conference are below.

Justice Department complaint: PDF

Today in History: Martin Luther King, Jr. is Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

October 14, 1964:

In 1964 Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his dynamic leadership of the Civil Rights movement and steadfast commitment to achieving racial justice through nonviolent action. King accepted the award on December 10, 1964 in Oslo, Norway on behalf of the Civil Rights movement and pledged the prize money to the movement’s continued development. At the age of thirty-five, King became the the youngest man, and only the second African American, to receive the prestigious award.

(Martin Luther King Jr. held his acceptance speech in the auditorium of the University of Oslo on 10 December 1964.)

Dr. King:

Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.[…]

I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind. I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the “isness” of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal “oughtness” that forever confronts him. I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsom and jetsom in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.

Full transcript below.

Weekly Address: President Obama – Creating Opportunity for All

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, the President highlighted the importance of expanding opportunity for all Americans — a principle that has guided his work throughout the past six years. This past week, the President attended a summit at Georgetown University where he discussed issues like poverty and inequality, and what we can do to ensure everyone gets a fair shot.

We’ve seen real results in this area, but there is still more that can be done. And lack of opportunity is not the only barrier to success. That’s why, on Monday, the President will travel to Camden, New Jersey to visit with local law enforcement, meet with young people, and hear directly about efforts to build trust between the police and the community in a city that has faced one of the highest crime rates in America.